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2013-10-28 02:53:16
2013-10-28 02:53:16

Although other elements do form a variety of molecular structures, carbon has a unique tendency to form a very wide variety of long molecular chains and rings that form the basis for organic compounds (with hydrogen and oxygen) that at some level of complexity begin to self-replicate.

It has been speculated that some element other than carbon could be used as a basis for the kind of complex molecules that are thought to be required by life. Silicon in particular is sometimes suggested. since it (like carbon) is capable of forming up to four covalent bonds per atom.

However, it's not energetically favorable for silicon to bond to another silicon instead of oxygen, meaning complex molecules like you get with carbon ... and which are probably necessary for life... are not likely.

For a really full treatment of the subject, I recommend the Isaac Asimov essay "The One and Only" which appears in his essay collection The Tragedy of the Moon.


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The origin of the universe is just that - a theory. We can only speculate how universe began - based on the knowledge we have up to now. There may be other factors - that could change our perspective on how the universe began - yet to be discovered !

Carbon is one of the most common elements present in the known universe. Life on earth is composted of carbon based lifeforms. However silicon oxygen and hydrogen are some of the most common elements found in space.

Carbon Based molecules are ones that have one or more carbon to carbon bonds in them.

This theory is based on there being more than one universe, i.e. That our universe exists as part of a larger Multiverse

Silicon is very common in the universe and is shares almost all the qualities of carbon.

Uranium is a chemical element, not a compound carbon-based.

Because that's all we're familiar with. Hard to conceive of life based on something not similar to us. They're probably wrong

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No, inorganic molecules are not carbon based.

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Based on canonical fiction, Teletubbyland. But my theory is, they might actually have been derived from an unidentified species somewhere in our Universe. No offense to people who don't believe in aliens.

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18.5% of the human body is carbon based.

'Organic' applies to all carbon-based compounds.

All organisms on Earth are carbon based.

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